Microsoft unveiled Windows 8.1 Preview at the BUILD developer conference back in June, with the announcement that the new operating system will comes with native 3D printing support.
This essentially makes it the first OS in the world to offer comprehensive built-in support for a feature like this. And over the past few weeks, Redmond has talked about how it wants to lead in this ever expanding field by paving the way for this technology to become hit mainstream.
In simple terms, Microsoft wants users of its operating system to be able to print 3D objects as easily as they would print out a document in Word.
And now the software titan has posted some more information in a new blog post that offers deeper details about 3D printing support in Windows 8.1.
The company also rolled out a new video clip to demonstrate the 3D printing support in Windows 8.1 in action. You can watch it below:
As Gavin Gear of Microsoft said in the post:
“The Windows 8.1 3D printing workflow is greatly improved compared with alternative solutions. Because applications are decoupled from devices, interoperability between 3D printers and apps is greatly expanded.
When targeting Windows 8.1, app developers can remain focused on 3D modeling technology while 3D printer manufacturers can focus on the 3D printing side of the equation. Furthermore, it is now possible for any app in the 3D print tool chain to support 3D printing easily.”
Redmond detailed that while there are data formats that already support 3D graphics and models, many of them lack the features needed for 3D printing (think color and material support). Microsoft, in the end, decided to support STL as an input format, while also creating a brand new format.
The new 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) will handle specific features for 3D printers.